Just completed another school auction last night. It’s always fun to bicycle home at 2 a.m. in London. The gates into Regents Park, where we live, were locked, but I’m able to take the sidewalk around them to get to the Inner Circle.
The auction went really smoothly last night. The organization was done really well. Two years ago we researched auction software packages, and there were one or more good options, but neither could support UK currency and other things unique to our location (such as very complicated tax receipts). Thus, our custom FileMaker database for auctions (and our in-house developer) swung into to action once again and did well.
Another tech step forward was a much broader use of hand held wireless technology for bidding. In the last auction, the super silent part was done via ID cards inserted into basic hand-helds that allowed everyone to enter a lot number and bid, with the lots appearing on screens with the increasing bids being shown. Last night it was taken to the next step, with ALL lots (on tables, on silent, on super silent, and for a end-of-evening pledge) being done via the wireless hand-helds, and it worked well. We had a slight data alignment glitch at the very end of the evening on some of the super silent items, but the team hired in with the hand held helped us resolve it in about 15 minutes.
The last item pledge worked particularly well, because contributors names (but not amounts) rolled up all the screens as the final “group participation” pledge took place. Nicely done.
Tired this morning, but very happy to see both of our kids go out cycling on their own on the Inner Circle in Regents Park. We are in this VERY WEIRD time as our kids are becoming more independent in their weekends, doing things on their own and with friends. This true “growing up” phase could be the strangest thing we’ve experienced so far as parents, but I was really proud how my daughter learned how to use Presta valves and pumped up her own tires this morning, thank you very much.
If I can have a son and a daughter who are confident with doing schoolwork and mechanical things with their hands, I will be a happy guy.